Choice among Duke,GWU,UVA,UPenn,Berkeley and Stanford for IP/IT LLM!H E L P!!


8EIOSPIT7
Hey guys! While a lot of us still waiting replies from UPenn, Columbia (don't mention Berkeley and Stanford because they always reply later) I am in the same restless state of mind with several other past students;being in front of a vital choice with regard to our professional future. Thus, I desperately asking your help/advice. Here are the facts.
1) I want to pursue a LLM focusing on IP/IT law and having in mind to sit for the NY or California BAR after the completion of the course. I hold a LLB from Thrace University of Greece and have 2 years or relevant working experience.
2)I have offers from Duke,GWU and UVA and waiting the others mentioned above to reply.
3)Corresponding rankings are widely known to all of us here so pls don't copy/paste them as a reply to the post. I really need to know your PERSONAL opinion and especially from people studying/working currently in the USA.
4)There is a heated debate out there among people supporting either that general rankings are more reliable/useful than specialized ones or the opposite side.It is wise not to return to this conversation!
So the striking question is....Could you rank the said universities in terms of later marketability(mainly in the US legal market), work prospects and international prestige? What would you choose if you were me?
Thank you in advance guys! Good luck to all those waiting for replies!!
Hey guys! While a lot of us still waiting replies from UPenn, Columbia (don't mention Berkeley and Stanford because they always reply later) I am in the same restless state of mind with several other past students;being in front of a vital choice with regard to our professional future. Thus, I desperately asking your help/advice. Here are the facts.
1) I want to pursue a LLM focusing on IP/IT law and having in mind to sit for the NY or California BAR after the completion of the course. I hold a LLB from Thrace University of Greece and have 2 years or relevant working experience.
2)I have offers from Duke,GWU and UVA and waiting the others mentioned above to reply.
3)Corresponding rankings are widely known to all of us here so pls don't copy/paste them as a reply to the post. I really need to know your PERSONAL opinion and especially from people studying/working currently in the USA.
4)There is a heated debate out there among people supporting either that general rankings are more reliable/useful than specialized ones or the opposite side.It is wise not to return to this conversation!
So the striking question is....Could you rank the said universities in terms of later marketability(mainly in the US legal market), work prospects and international prestige? What would you choose if you were me?
Thank you in advance guys! Good luck to all those waiting for replies!!
quote
Gloss
Dear:
I am currently working at one of the top US law firms as a permanent associate and I got my LLM from Stanford (not in IP, but in Corporate). If I can give you my honest opinion, these are my comments:
1) Your first choice, in my opinion, should be Stanford (it sounds terrible because I studied there, but I am trying to be as honest as possible), not only because of the rankings and specialized LLM on IP/IT, but because Stanford is the capital and the origin of the Silicon Valley (check wikipedia) and the IP program is extremely selective (around 10 LLMs only). The fact that you will study in the Silicon Valley matters (apart from the fact that you will be in contact with all most important technology companies in the world) because a lot of prestigious boutique US law firms for IP/IT only have offices in the Silicon Valley, or have main offices there (Ex. Wilson Sonsini, Fenwick and West, Cooley Godward etc) and they dont hire in the general LLM job fairs (for other schools), they usually only hire LLMs from Stanford (at Stanford's Job Fair), partially because they have a relationship with the school and because some of the Parters are Professors in Stanford. Also, because the LLM program is so small, the competition for job positions becomes easier. All top law firms in the US apply the principle of diversity. It means that they dont like to get students from the same school if they can. They try to distribute the positions between students from different schools. If they have 10 positions, they get 2 or 3 students for each school maximum (even if the top 10 students from the best school are in the dispute). In this case, less LLMs is very important for job search purposes because it gives you more opportunities, while other students, from big schools, have first to compete with their classmates. Finally, (and this is something most people dont know), as a student from Stanford you will be able to participate not only in the NY LLM job fair (as all other top law schools) but in the California LLM job fair (only for California schools, such as Berkeley) and in the school JD job fair (which is not allowed by some of the other schools). As you have more job fairs, you have more chances of getting a position.
2) Your second choice, in my opinion, should be Columbia. Although I honestly believe that Berkeley's program in IP is better than Columbia's, you have to understand that most of the large law firms in the US (even the top NY law firms) dont want associates only specialized in IP/IT. You should be able to work not only in IP/IT, but also in corporate and contracts, because corporate and contract related work is a huge part, if not most, of the IP/IT work. Although I believe Berkeley is better for IP/IT academic purposes, I honestly think that Columbia LLM has an overall better reputation between top law firms and Columbia will give you a better background in corporate/contracts, if you dont have one.
3) You third choice should be Berkeley. They have a very strong academic program for IP/IT and they also have good entrance in the Silicon Valley. For academic purposes, in IP/IT, I believe they are as good as Stanford, but they dont have a strong corporate program as Stanford (which is important to find a job). Also, Stanford and Columbia have better reputation and better results in placing students.
4) Your 4th choice, in my opinion, should be Penn. They are good for corporate, but not so special in IP/IT. But you should go for them instead of the others we are discussing because of the reputation.
5) Duke should be your next decision. They have a good corporate and capital markets program and better reputation than UVA and GWA. They place a lot of associates in NY, and this may help you when competing for a position.
6) UVA is your next option, for reputation reasons only.
7) GWA is the last one. I know they have a good position in the specialized ranking for IP/IT. But, if I can give my opinion in this raking matter just a little bit, I have NEVER heard from ANY of the Partners in my firm ANY mention to the specilized rankings. In my honest opinion, these rankings are important for academic purposes, but the general ranking is the one every Partner knows by head and it is the one that really matters when we are talking about job placement. Believe me, the persons that are defending the specilized rankings are usually the ones admitted in not so good schools that are ranked better in specific areas. But for job search purposes, they dont really matter.
I hope this helps. I wish you the best!
Dear:
I am currently working at one of the top US law firms as a permanent associate and I got my LLM from Stanford (not in IP, but in Corporate). If I can give you my honest opinion, these are my comments:
1) Your first choice, in my opinion, should be Stanford (it sounds terrible because I studied there, but I am trying to be as honest as possible), not only because of the rankings and specialized LLM on IP/IT, but because Stanford is the capital and the origin of the Silicon Valley (check wikipedia) and the IP program is extremely selective (around 10 LLMs only). The fact that you will study in the Silicon Valley matters (apart from the fact that you will be in contact with all most important technology companies in the world) because a lot of prestigious boutique US law firms for IP/IT only have offices in the Silicon Valley, or have main offices there (Ex. Wilson Sonsini, Fenwick and West, Cooley Godward etc) and they dont hire in the general LLM job fairs (for other schools), they usually only hire LLMs from Stanford (at Stanford's Job Fair), partially because they have a relationship with the school and because some of the Parters are Professors in Stanford. Also, because the LLM program is so small, the competition for job positions becomes easier. All top law firms in the US apply the principle of diversity. It means that they dont like to get students from the same school if they can. They try to distribute the positions between students from different schools. If they have 10 positions, they get 2 or 3 students for each school maximum (even if the top 10 students from the best school are in the dispute). In this case, less LLMs is very important for job search purposes because it gives you more opportunities, while other students, from big schools, have first to compete with their classmates. Finally, (and this is something most people dont know), as a student from Stanford you will be able to participate not only in the NY LLM job fair (as all other top law schools) but in the California LLM job fair (only for California schools, such as Berkeley) and in the school JD job fair (which is not allowed by some of the other schools). As you have more job fairs, you have more chances of getting a position.
2) Your second choice, in my opinion, should be Columbia. Although I honestly believe that Berkeley's program in IP is better than Columbia's, you have to understand that most of the large law firms in the US (even the top NY law firms) dont want associates only specialized in IP/IT. You should be able to work not only in IP/IT, but also in corporate and contracts, because corporate and contract related work is a huge part, if not most, of the IP/IT work. Although I believe Berkeley is better for IP/IT academic purposes, I honestly think that Columbia LLM has an overall better reputation between top law firms and Columbia will give you a better background in corporate/contracts, if you dont have one.
3) You third choice should be Berkeley. They have a very strong academic program for IP/IT and they also have good entrance in the Silicon Valley. For academic purposes, in IP/IT, I believe they are as good as Stanford, but they dont have a strong corporate program as Stanford (which is important to find a job). Also, Stanford and Columbia have better reputation and better results in placing students.
4) Your 4th choice, in my opinion, should be Penn. They are good for corporate, but not so special in IP/IT. But you should go for them instead of the others we are discussing because of the reputation.
5) Duke should be your next decision. They have a good corporate and capital markets program and better reputation than UVA and GWA. They place a lot of associates in NY, and this may help you when competing for a position.
6) UVA is your next option, for reputation reasons only.
7) GWA is the last one. I know they have a good position in the specialized ranking for IP/IT. But, if I can give my opinion in this raking matter just a little bit, I have NEVER heard from ANY of the Partners in my firm ANY mention to the specilized rankings. In my honest opinion, these rankings are important for academic purposes, but the general ranking is the one every Partner knows by head and it is the one that really matters when we are talking about job placement. Believe me, the persons that are defending the specilized rankings are usually the ones admitted in not so good schools that are ranked better in specific areas. But for job search purposes, they dont really matter.
I hope this helps. I wish you the best!
quote
Jammin
Hi 8EIOSPIT7,
As you have noticed I'm in a similar position to yours being admitted to Columbia, Duke, UVA, etc. and still waiting to hear from SLS, HLS, UPenn and Chicago (I haven't applied to GWU and Berkeley).
I agree 100% with Gloss's view (actually he already provided me with valuable advice on this matter few weeks ago) even if my interests are slightly different from yours as
I will focus on Corporate/Capital Markets Law instead of IP.
So, go with SLS if you manage to get admitted otherwise stick with Columbia.
Ciao
Miki
Hi 8EIOSPIT7,
As you have noticed I'm in a similar position to yours being admitted to Columbia, Duke, UVA, etc. and still waiting to hear from SLS, HLS, UPenn and Chicago (I haven't applied to GWU and Berkeley).
I agree 100% with Gloss's view (actually he already provided me with valuable advice on this matter few weeks ago) even if my interests are slightly different from yours as
I will focus on Corporate/Capital Markets Law instead of IP.
So, go with SLS if you manage to get admitted otherwise stick with Columbia.
Ciao
Miki
quote
Among these 3 schools, probably Duke is better.

However, Stanford, Penn and Berkeley are really good and that would be a tough decision :)
Among these 3 schools, probably Duke is better.

However, Stanford, Penn and Berkeley are really good and that would be a tough decision :)

quote
8EIOSPIT7
Dear Gloss,
Honestly, your post is one of the most clear and concise answers I have ever read since I first logged up to LLM-Guide two years ago! Here are some comments.

1) Your first choice, in my opinion, should be Stanford (it sounds terrible because I studied there,

It is not terrible at all! Pls dont mention that again! All the people dealing with legal affairs around the globe have the same opinion with you. Yes, Stanford is the best option BUT at the same time a long shot for someone with my credentialsTherefore, I have fingers crossed and waiting for their reply!

2) I think that Columbia Vs Berkeley in IP/IT field is the most interesting part of your post.
You wrote: You should be able to work not only in IP/IT, but also in corporate and contracts, because corporate and contract related work is a huge part, if not most, of the IP/IT work.

This is true, but there is something troubles me with regard to Columbia courses. They definitely are among the top three schools in terms of corporate law but they havent as many specialized courses, especially focusing on IT matters, as Berkeley or even UPenn. So, I believe that studying in Berkeley (if been admitted) would provide me not only with a profound insight into IP/IT field but also with adequate knowledge concerning contract and corporate issues as you mentioned. Obviously, I dont know if Columbia is able to serve me properly in terms of IT courses that are of immense value to me.

Although I believe Berkeley is better for IP/IT academic purposes, I honestly think that Columbia LLM has an overall better reputation between top law firms

This is 100% true That is why choosing between them would be a really hard task!!

I dont want to add anything else with regard to the rest of your post as I fully agree with your arguments. One last comment should be done. The only reason led me to apply to GWU was those specialized rankings. I hadnt heard anything any of my colleagues or my professors in the university.

Your help is invaluable for me guys! We will be in contact.
Dear Gloss,
Honestly, your post is one of the most clear and concise answers I have ever read since I first logged up to LLM-Guide two years ago! Here are some comments.

1) “Your first choice, in my opinion, should be Stanford (it sounds terrible because I studied there,”

It is not terrible at all! Pls don’t mention that again! All the people dealing with legal affairs around the globe have the same opinion with you. Yes, Stanford is the best option BUT at the same time a long shot for someone with my credentials…Therefore, I have fingers crossed and waiting for their reply!

2) I think that Columbia Vs Berkeley in IP/IT field is the most interesting part of your post.
You wrote: “You should be able to work not only in IP/IT, but also in corporate and contracts, because corporate and contract related work is a huge part, if not most, of the IP/IT work.”

This is true, but there is something troubles me with regard to Columbia courses. They definitely are among the top three schools in terms of corporate law but they haven’t as many specialized courses, especially focusing on IT matters, as Berkeley or even UPenn. So, I believe that studying in Berkeley (if been admitted) would provide me not only with a profound insight into IP/IT field but also with adequate knowledge concerning contract and corporate issues as you mentioned. Obviously, I don’t know if Columbia is able to serve me properly in terms of IT courses that are of immense value to me.

“Although I believe Berkeley is better for IP/IT academic purposes, I honestly think that Columbia LLM has an overall better reputation between top law firms”

This is 100% true… That is why choosing between them would be a really hard task!!

I don’t want to add anything else with regard to the rest of your post as I fully agree with your arguments. One last comment should be done. The only reason led me to apply to GWU was those specialized rankings. I hadn’t heard anything any of my colleagues or my professors in the university.

Your help is invaluable for me guys! We will be in contact.
quote
Gloss
Thank you for your reply my friend! I am happy to help!
I agree with you, the decision between Berkeley vs. Columbia in your case is the most difficult one. You definitely should do more research before deciding between one or another.
I liked very much your question in first place and I think your approach is right.
The truth is that all these schools are very good and, for this reason, you (I mean the applicant) should not only consider the academic programs, professors, etc, but the outcome of your LLM, like your are doing. We should never forget that the LLM is a financial and personal investment and the outcome should be the best financial and personal return for your case. If you say to me, for example, that you want to be an IP/IT law professor in your home country after the LLM, I may change some of my opinions above (the best IP/IT academic programs should be the best choice). If you say you dont want to work in the US, but return after the LLM to your country, also (maybe in your home country some LLMs have more prestige or can provide you a strong local network).
Regarding GWU, please dont get me wrong. I dont want to say that the program is bad or something and that you should not even apply. I just want to share with you my experience that in the US, for foreign LLMs, the ranking considered by Partners in large law firms when hiring an associate is the general ranking.
This is because the speciliazed rankings are more related to the academic program itself than really reputation in the market or selectivity of the LLM/JD. The Partners are more interested in getting the smartest student and they think they have more chances of doing it if they get from the most renowned and select school. For academic purposes, in their minds they think they will need to teach most of the work to the student anyway, so they are not so interested if you took many more IP classes (like in the specialized LLMs). Of couse, the specialization of the LLM counts at some extent, but what I am saying is that it is less important than the general reputation of the school when applying for a job in a large US law firm.
The real truth is that the job market for large law firms is made out of brands and the better brands you have in your resume, better chances of getting a position. This is not always fair, but the world is not fair... Good luck for you! I am sure you will do great! Regards!
Thank you for your reply my friend! I am happy to help!
I agree with you, the decision between Berkeley vs. Columbia in your case is the most difficult one. You definitely should do more research before deciding between one or another.
I liked very much your question in first place and I think your approach is right.
The truth is that all these schools are very good and, for this reason, you (I mean the applicant) should not only consider the academic programs, professors, etc, but the outcome of your LLM, like your are doing. We should never forget that the LLM is a financial and personal investment and the outcome should be the best financial and personal return for your case. If you say to me, for example, that you want to be an IP/IT law professor in your home country after the LLM, I may change some of my opinions above (the best IP/IT academic programs should be the best choice). If you say you dont want to work in the US, but return after the LLM to your country, also (maybe in your home country some LLMs have more prestige or can provide you a strong local network).
Regarding GWU, please dont get me wrong. I dont want to say that the program is bad or something and that you should not even apply. I just want to share with you my experience that in the US, for foreign LLMs, the ranking considered by Partners in large law firms when hiring an associate is the general ranking.
This is because the speciliazed rankings are more related to the academic program itself than really reputation in the market or selectivity of the LLM/JD. The Partners are more interested in getting the smartest student and they think they have more chances of doing it if they get from the most renowned and select school. For academic purposes, in their minds they think they will need to teach most of the work to the student anyway, so they are not so interested if you took many more IP classes (like in the specialized LLMs). Of couse, the specialization of the LLM counts at some extent, but what I am saying is that it is less important than the general reputation of the school when applying for a job in a large US law firm.
The real truth is that the job market for large law firms is made out of brands and the better brands you have in your resume, better chances of getting a position. This is not always fair, but the world is not fair... Good luck for you! I am sure you will do great! Regards!
quote
lawadd08
Hey Gloss,

I quite agree with what you've written and I must concur that it put a lot of answers to different questions in clear perspective..

Sometime ago I had asked the question of Columbia v. NYU, which ones better? I did get multiple responses on the same. However I would like to hear your opinion..

I have been admitted to Columbia. However Columbia has not offered me any financial aid (which is not fatal to my pursuing an LL.M there..).
1. What if:
i. I do get a positive response from NYU and I am offered a substantial financial aid/scholarship?; or
ii. NYU also offers no financial aid/ scholarship..
What would you suggest, picking which one would be a wise decision? and why?

2. Also, I have applied to HLS and SLS. How bad should one feel about not having been admitted there, if at all, despite having an offer from Columbia? and

3. (Notwithstanding the obvious answer, which may be furnished) between Columbia, HLS and SLS (if all offer you an admission) which one would you suggest to pick?

(I wish to pursue LL.M in Corporate Law and possible hunt for a good job offer in US)
Hey Gloss,

I quite agree with what you've written and I must concur that it put a lot of answers to different questions in clear perspective..

Sometime ago I had asked the question of Columbia v. NYU, which ones better? I did get multiple responses on the same. However I would like to hear your opinion..

I have been admitted to Columbia. However Columbia has not offered me any financial aid (which is not fatal to my pursuing an LL.M there..).
1. What if:
i. I do get a positive response from NYU and I am offered a substantial financial aid/scholarship?; or
ii. NYU also offers no financial aid/ scholarship..
What would you suggest, picking which one would be a wise decision? and why?

2. Also, I have applied to HLS and SLS. How bad should one feel about not having been admitted there, if at all, despite having an offer from Columbia? and

3. (Notwithstanding the obvious answer, which may be furnished) between Columbia, HLS and SLS (if all offer you an admission) which one would you suggest to pick?

(I wish to pursue LL.M in Corporate Law and possible hunt for a good job offer in US)
quote
Gloss
Thanks for your question my friend! I will leave my answer on the table, although I know that Columbia LLM vs. NYU LLM is an issue that generates a lot of emotions around here. It is like the North Carolina vs. Duke college basketball game or Brazil vs Argentina soccer game (or Barc. vc. Real Madrid/Inter Milan vs. AC Milan, I love soccer anyway).
First, just to put you on perspective, both schools are great (as everybody knows) and, if we were talking about JD, there is no downside when choosing between one or another. Both schools place JDs in all top law firms and have really strong alumni all over. However, when we are talking about LLM things are quite different. The job market for LLMs is quite small and some schools are more prepared to receive LLMs than others, which makes really difference.
Have said that, lets go to your points:
1) Columbia vs. NYU, with no financial aid from both of them
The usual answer is always the same and it is the truth. Considering that you would like to pursue an LLM in Corporate Law, Columbia is, in my opinion, your best shot. The fact is that Columbia has a better prestige in the hiring process - but not so much better though (although some people think it is very different but there are differences at some level, as I will explain below). When hiring LLMs the Partners will never say, this student is from NYU and for this reason he is out of the race (even when he is from NYU and he is applying for a corporate practice area). However, Columbia is recognized by its excellent corporate classes and it is a more selective program than NYU, so this will give you a small advantage in the hiring process, even though there are other issues to be considered, such as experience, references, your home country, etc. Columbia invested in corporate, such as NYU invested in tax. Therefore, if you can pick a better academic school for your area, paying almost the same amount of money, there is no reason for not doing it.
1) Columbia vs. NYU, with financial aid from NYU
This is a more difficult decision than most people think. I honestly believe that Columbia is a better LLM in corporate and even a better LLM overall than NYU, with a better overall prestige in the US market. The main reason is because Columbia is a more selective and serious program than NYU (I dont like to say the word serious, but I had the impression from my friends that studied at NYU that they were partying a lot. I know several people from different years that studied there and all of them gave me this impression. I did not have the same impression from my friends in Columbia though).
However, the truth is that both LLMs are big and even Columbia is not as selective as it should or could be. Also, although NYU has a huge LLM and it is considerably less selective than Columbia (for foreign LLMs), the NYU JD and LLM in tax (I am talking about LLM in tax for Americans) have a very strong reputation and alumni connections in the market.
The good reputation and connections of NYU, plus the diversity principle applied by law firms, the small size of the job market for foreign LLMs and the structure applied by some law firms of accepting references from your home country and other factors (previous experience, etc.), decrease the advantage of coming from Columbia, even for corporate placement purposes.
Basically, even if you are coming from Columbia corporate, applying for a corporate job, you will need to beat a lot of your classmates (because the program is big), plus a lot of students from other good schools (although, because of diversity, they will give preference to hire students from different schools if they have many positions, and so some spots are saved for other schools) and they will consider references and previous experience/previous schools (which is not related to study at Columbia or NYU, so you could lose for other reasons than only your school).
Therefore, the fact that you decide to go to Columbia, instead of NYU, will not guarantee that you will find a position, even when only compared to NYU students, although it will give you an advantage (less students to compete inside your school, better program, better overall reputation).
So, to solve your dilemma you should consider the amount of the financial aid and the importance of the money for you. If you dont care so much about the financial aid, you should give a huge preference to Columbia. If you care, depending on the amount, you may consider NYU. In my opinion, you should not sell this advantage cheap, but, definitely, it has a price and the exactly price, only you know.
2) I dont think you should fell bad about not being admitted to Harvard or Stanford. These are very selective schools, the fact that you are not admitted means nothing and it could result from many factors not under your control. When I applied my state of mind was that my target was Columbia, anything above Columbia was a plus and I should celebrate more, but not fell bad if the result was negative. Just keep in mind that if you go to Columbia you should be more careful about finding a job than f you go to Harvard or Stanford.
3) You should not pick Columbia over Harvard or Stanford for many reasons, but mostly because of reputation and size of the programs. Although I have seen several people in this LLM-Guide saying that the size of the program does not matter, the truth is that, under an academic perspective, it could matter or not, depending on you (because you could be a bad student or not, and the size of the class will not matter for you), but for job search purposes this is one of the things that matters the most, together with the reputation of the school, your own efforts and your previous credentials.
The dispute between Harvard and Stanford, however, is huge. You should be fine in both of them and it is very difficult to say bad things about both. There is no wrong answer in this case, but I believe that the advantages of the programs are the following:
Harvard: Considerably more international and outsider recognition. Stronger LLM alumni, because the LLM program is older than Stanfords program.
Stanford: More recognition in the US HLS JD and LLM is considered big and for this reason they lose a few points with Partners - they admit 1500 JDs each year, compared to 155 JDs only in Stanford. They have 100 LLMs and Stanford has 20 in total, and only 12-14 in corporate.(curiosity: I am not sure if you know, but Harvard is usually number 3 in the US news ranking. I have seen a ranking of the last 10 years, and Stanford got 7 number 2 positions). Easier to get a job because the program is so small. Opportunities in California that are not offered to east coast schools California has its own market with strong local firms, specially in the Silicon Valley, that dont go to the LLM job fair, and California has its own LLM job fair (east coast schools dont participate in this one, although Stanford and Berkeley participate in the east coast job fair).
But, like I said, it is very difficult to decide between them. What I know is that I have never seen any LLM from these schools unemployed and have seen some of them getting better offers than the average in the market (starting as 3rd or 4th year US salary, signing bonus, positions in Europe/Asia/Middle East).
I hope this helps you! Good luck and best regards!
Thanks for your question my friend! I will leave my answer on the table, although I know that Columbia LLM vs. NYU LLM is an issue that generates a lot of emotions around here. It is like the North Carolina vs. Duke college basketball game or Brazil vs Argentina soccer game (or Barc. vc. Real Madrid/Inter Milan vs. AC Milan, I love soccer anyway).
First, just to put you on perspective, both schools are great (as everybody knows) and, if we were talking about JD, there is no downside when choosing between one or another. Both schools place JDs in all top law firms and have really strong alumni all over. However, when we are talking about LLM things are quite different. The job market for LLMs is quite small and some schools are more prepared to receive LLMs than others, which makes really difference.
Have said that, lets go to your points:
1) Columbia vs. NYU, with no financial aid from both of them –
The usual answer is always the same and it is the truth. Considering that you would like to pursue an LLM in Corporate Law, Columbia is, in my opinion, your best shot. The fact is that Columbia has a better prestige in the hiring process - but not so much better though (although some people think it is very different… but there are differences at some level, as I will explain below). When hiring LLMs the Partners will never say, this student is from NYU and for this reason he is out of the race (even when he is from NYU and he is applying for a corporate practice area). However, Columbia is recognized by its excellent corporate classes and it is a more selective program than NYU, so this will give you a small advantage in the hiring process, even though there are other issues to be considered, such as experience, references, your home country, etc. Columbia invested in corporate, such as NYU invested in tax. Therefore, if you can pick a better academic school for your area, paying almost the same amount of money, there is no reason for not doing it.
1) Columbia vs. NYU, with financial aid from NYU –
This is a more difficult decision than most people think. I honestly believe that Columbia is a better LLM in corporate and even a better LLM overall than NYU, with a better overall prestige in the US market. The main reason is because Columbia is a more selective and serious program than NYU (I don’t like to say the word “serious”, but I had the impression from my friends that studied at NYU that they were partying a lot. I know several people from different years that studied there and all of them gave me this impression. I did not have the same impression from my friends in Columbia though).
However, the truth is that both LLMs are big and even Columbia is not as selective as it should or could be. Also, although NYU has a huge LLM and it is considerably less selective than Columbia (for foreign LLMs), the NYU JD and LLM in tax (I am talking about LLM in tax for Americans) have a very strong reputation and alumni connections in the market.
The good reputation and connections of NYU, plus the diversity principle applied by law firms, the small size of the job market for foreign LLMs and the structure applied by some law firms of accepting “references” from your home country and other factors (previous experience, etc.), decrease the advantage of coming from Columbia, even for corporate placement purposes.
Basically, even if you are coming from Columbia corporate, applying for a corporate job, you will need to beat a lot of your classmates (because the program is big), plus a lot of students from other good schools (although, because of diversity, they will give preference to hire students from different schools if they have many positions, and so some spots are saved for other schools) and they will consider references and previous experience/previous schools (which is not related to study at Columbia or NYU, so you could lose for other reasons than only your school).
Therefore, the fact that you decide to go to Columbia, instead of NYU, will not guarantee that you will find a position, even when only compared to NYU students, although it will give you an advantage (less students to compete inside your school, better program, better overall reputation).
So, to solve your dilemma you should consider the amount of the financial aid and the importance of the money for you. If you don’t care so much about the financial aid, you should give a huge preference to Columbia. If you care, depending on the amount, you may consider NYU. In my opinion, you should not sell this advantage cheap, but, definitely, it has a price and the exactly price, only you know.
2) I don’t think you should fell bad about not being admitted to Harvard or Stanford. These are very selective schools, the fact that you are not admitted means nothing and it could result from many factors not under your control. When I applied my state of mind was that my target was Columbia, anything above Columbia was a plus and I should celebrate more, but not fell bad if the result was negative. Just keep in mind that if you go to Columbia you should be more careful about finding a job than f you go to Harvard or Stanford.
3) You should not pick Columbia over Harvard or Stanford for many reasons, but mostly because of reputation and size of the programs. Although I have seen several people in this LLM-Guide saying that the size of the program does not matter, the truth is that, under an academic perspective, it could matter or not, depending on you (because you could be a bad student or not, and the size of the class will not matter for you), but for job search purposes this is one of the things that matters the most, together with the reputation of the school, your own efforts and your previous credentials.
The dispute between Harvard and Stanford, however, is huge. You should be fine in both of them and it is very difficult to say bad things about both. There is no wrong answer in this case, but I believe that the advantages of the programs are the following:
Harvard: Considerably more international and outsider recognition. Stronger LLM alumni, because the LLM program is older than Stanford’s program.
Stanford: More recognition in the US – HLS JD and LLM is considered big and for this reason they lose a few points with Partners - they admit 1500 JDs each year, compared to 155 JDs only in Stanford. They have 100 LLMs and Stanford has 20 in total, and only 12-14 in corporate.(curiosity: I am not sure if you know, but Harvard is usually number 3 in the US news ranking. I have seen a ranking of the last 10 years, and Stanford got 7 number 2 positions). Easier to get a job because the program is so small. Opportunities in California that are not offered to east coast schools – California has its own market with strong local firms, specially in the Silicon Valley, that don’t go to the LLM job fair, and California has its own LLM job fair (east coast schools don’t participate in this one, although Stanford and Berkeley participate in the east coast job fair).
But, like I said, it is very difficult to decide between them. What I know is that I have never seen any LLM from these schools unemployed and have seen some of them getting better offers than the average in the market (starting as 3rd or 4th year US salary, signing bonus, positions in Europe/Asia/Middle East).
I hope this helps you! Good luck and best regards!
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Jammin
Thank you Gloss! Your posts are, for sure, the most valuables on this website!
Thank you Gloss! Your posts are, for sure, the most valuables on this website!
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Nathan11
I agree with Miki. Thank you Gloss. Your advice was also very helpful to me and gave me an insight into the top schools in terms of career (job) opportunities after graduation.
I agree with Miki. Thank you Gloss. Your advice was also very helpful to me and gave me an insight into the top schools in terms of career (job) opportunities after graduation.
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8EIOSPIT7
In Gloss we trust!:) Definitely the most useful advices in the website!
In Gloss we trust!:) Definitely the most useful advices in the website!
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Gloss
Thank you guys! If you need any further advice, I am always happy to help!!
Thank you guys! If you need any further advice, I am always happy to help!!
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ANAVHB
Hi Gloss,

Please advice. I wish to pursue my LLM - in IT/IP and have applied to Penn, Stan and Berk as well as LSE. Your advice made sense - and i do intend to take up basic Corporate law courses as i will need a job to pay off my loan in the next couple of years.

As of now ...i have received an acceptance from Upenn and Lse ...and have no clue whether Berk or Stan would even consider me (given that i don't top my class and have only worked as an in house counsel for 2 years).

What do i go ahead with ...Penn or Lse ...from learning as well as job prespective ???
Hi Gloss,

Please advice. I wish to pursue my LLM - in IT/IP and have applied to Penn, Stan and Berk as well as LSE. Your advice made sense - and i do intend to take up basic Corporate law courses as i will need a job to pay off my loan in the next couple of years.

As of now ...i have received an acceptance from Upenn and Lse ...and have no clue whether Berk or Stan would even consider me (given that i don't top my class and have only worked as an in house counsel for 2 years).

What do i go ahead with ...Penn or Lse ...from learning as well as job prespective ???
quote
Gloss
Hi ANAVHB!
No doubt, if you want to work outside your country after the LLM, you should go to Penn. It is extremely hard to find a job position in the UK for LLMs. UK law firms are not used to hire LLMs and UK law schools usually dont even have job fairs for LLMs. In fact, most of the foreign associates I know working in the UK are Europeans but they got their LLM in the US and are working in US law firms in the UK.
Regarding the learning experience, UK law schools are less practical, more academic. If you want to be a lawyer, and not a professor, you should go to the US. The biggest advantage of studying in the UK is the chance of traveling around Europe. Besides that, you should only go to the UK if you have a full scholarship (like from the British Council).... therefore, it would be so riskier to go to the US (because you may not find a job) that would be better take a UK LLM. Nowadays, because the dollar is so weak, this is one more reason to go to the US... life in London is maybe more expensive than any other place in the US.
Regards,
Hi ANAVHB!
No doubt, if you want to work outside your country after the LLM, you should go to Penn. It is extremely hard to find a job position in the UK for LLMs. UK law firms are not used to hire LLMs and UK law schools usually dont even have job fairs for LLMs. In fact, most of the foreign associates I know working in the UK are Europeans but they got their LLM in the US and are working in US law firms in the UK.
Regarding the learning experience, UK law schools are less practical, more academic. If you want to be a lawyer, and not a professor, you should go to the US. The biggest advantage of studying in the UK is the chance of traveling around Europe. Besides that, you should only go to the UK if you have a full scholarship (like from the British Council).... therefore, it would be so riskier to go to the US (because you may not find a job) that would be better take a UK LLM. Nowadays, because the dollar is so weak, this is one more reason to go to the US... life in London is maybe more expensive than any other place in the US.
Regards,
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ANAVHB
Thanks soo much ....
Thanks soo much ....
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kman
I am doing my BCL with Oxford now. I have no idea whether other UK law schools have job fairs for LLM students, but I have attended several presentations for non-UK law students by Big law firms. And I heard that Camtab also that sort of job fairs for overseas law students. So, if you consider to work in the UK, OxBirdge could be good choices.
I am doing my BCL with Oxford now. I have no idea whether other UK law schools have job fairs for LLM students, but I have attended several presentations for non-UK law students by Big law firms. And I heard that Camtab also that sort of job fairs for overseas law students. So, if you consider to work in the UK, OxBirdge could be good choices.

quote
noun
Hi everyone.

Gloss you seem to bring good advices. I am a little late for my applications, and I am not finished yet.
I have already applied to UPenn, UCLA, Fordham, and wish to apply for admission to GWU, Boston University, ...and maybe De Paul University.
I don't have any answers yet, but still I have some questions.

Here is my situation:
- I am not planing on staying in the United States after my LLM. I would like to go back working in France.
- I have a BA in Art history, and I am very interrested in art law. That is the reason why I have applied for LLMs specialized in IP.

Here are my questions:
- I don't know if it is better to attend an LLM specialized in IP, even if it is not in the best University.
For example, UPenn offers only concentration in IP. Should I better choose GWU?
- What do you think about UCLA and the other universities ?

Thanks a lot
Hi everyone.

Gloss you seem to bring good advices. I am a little late for my applications, and I am not finished yet.
I have already applied to UPenn, UCLA, Fordham, and wish to apply for admission to GWU, Boston University, ...and maybe De Paul University.
I don't have any answers yet, but still I have some questions.

Here is my situation:
- I am not planing on staying in the United States after my LLM. I would like to go back working in France.
- I have a BA in Art history, and I am very interrested in art law. That is the reason why I have applied for LLMs specialized in IP.

Here are my questions:
- I don't know if it is better to attend an LLM specialized in IP, even if it is not in the best University.
For example, UPenn offers only concentration in IP. Should I better choose GWU?
- What do you think about UCLA and the other universities ?

Thanks a lot

quote
richardcjy
Hello all, I agree with Gloss in general. I do want to highlight that if you are going to try to find a job in IP lawfirms (specifically patent boutigue), you will better need a technical degree which makes you eligible for the patent bar. And I agree that NY LLM job fair (both Columbia and NYU) are mostly for corporate guys. But I actually don't think what classes you are taking/will be taking during the LLM matters too much. Instead, your past working experience, where you are from, and the reputation of your LLM school matter more.

But if you don't plan to work in the US and just be interested in learning IP, the consideration should be different. I will also say Stanford is your top choice, almost a no brainer. I highly recommend Duke and Berkeley. GWU comes next as they are always famous in patent (and CAFC Judge Redar teaches there!)
Hello all, I agree with Gloss in general. I do want to highlight that if you are going to try to find a job in IP lawfirms (specifically patent boutigue), you will better need a technical degree which makes you eligible for the patent bar. And I agree that NY LLM job fair (both Columbia and NYU) are mostly for corporate guys. But I actually don't think what classes you are taking/will be taking during the LLM matters too much. Instead, your past working experience, where you are from, and the reputation of your LLM school matter more.

But if you don't plan to work in the US and just be interested in learning IP, the consideration should be different. I will also say Stanford is your top choice, almost a no brainer. I highly recommend Duke and Berkeley. GWU comes next as they are always famous in patent (and CAFC Judge Redar teaches there!)
quote
Gloss
Noun:

If you are going back to your country and you want to work in such specific field of IP, in my opinion, you should take an LLM specialized in IP, as you said.

Regarding the choice between the schools you applied, another factor you may consider, besides the IP programs is the level of connections the school can provide you in France. Maybe one of these schools have a particularly good group of alumnis in France and you should take this into account.
Noun:

If you are going back to your country and you want to work in such specific field of IP, in my opinion, you should take an LLM specialized in IP, as you said.

Regarding the choice between the schools you applied, another factor you may consider, besides the IP programs is the level of connections the school can provide you in France. Maybe one of these schools have a particularly good group of alumnis in France and you should take this into account.

quote
Gloss
richardcjy:

Not so sure if I left the wrong impression, but I agree with you regarding the classes and that is one of the reason I think the rankings based on practice areas are misleading, because they are based more on the focus of the programs (number of classes and name of the professors) than on the reputation of the school.

I did not mention the technical background but you are right. It is diffcult to mention everything here... technical background makes a good difference for IP boutiques.
richardcjy:

Not so sure if I left the wrong impression, but I agree with you regarding the classes and that is one of the reason I think the rankings based on practice areas are misleading, because they are based more on the focus of the programs (number of classes and name of the professors) than on the reputation of the school.

I did not mention the technical background but you are right. It is diffcult to mention everything here... technical background makes a good difference for IP boutiques.
quote

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